Friday, March 15, 2013
Now and then I will hear someone mention that they prefer some tool on another site. And that's cool, it's certainly possible for some other site to have a feature that is better in one way or another, certainly according to individual perception. A lot of other sites' titles have to do with exercise, or weight or eating.
I was thinking about this relative to what I learned a couple of weeks ago, that only 1% of National Weight Control Registrants lost their weight through exercise alone. Not to diss exercise, 90% of them did use exercise, it was just mostly alongside dietary modifications. Just the significance of that sank in as I thought about the name Sparkpeople.
Sparkpeople isn't just about exercise, or just about food or weight. It is somewhat closer to say it's about health. It's been a year since I really read the Spark, but what the Spark refers to is how good it feels to inspire people to improve their lives. It's a lot about motivation, but I think the idea it really gets at is support. Goals and tracking and attitude all fit in with that, as does physical, mental and social health.
If I recall correctly, the reason Sparkpeople focuses on health is because health improvement is a nearly universal goal in our society. It often, but not always, involves weight management. They say flowers aren't in the business of giving bees nectar. They are in the business of spreading pollen. But to attract the most bees, they give nectar, and they have pretty flowers to help the bees remember. I suppose it's an indirect effect like that.
Anyway, this is just my attempt to explain what I was thinking about the SparkPeople concept. It's not new or anything, I just saw it in a new light relative to what the other websites emphasize through their titles. And I really do think that when it comes to sustained maintenance, support and motivation really are the thing.